Tonight Kim and I got to visit The Playground in Downtown Santa Ana as part of the friends and family pre-opening event. We were lucky enough to try a number of their dishes and as you would expect from owner and executive chef Jason Quinn, he did not disappoint. The restaurant concept is based around small plates. When you arrive you should head straight to the bar. They have a great selection of beers bottled and on draft available. We picked out two that were on draft and at the same time we ordered our starting courses. We seated ourselves at one of the communal style dining tables. It’s a lot like eating at a gourmet food truck in that way, where you are sitting with strangers but soon chatting with them about the food, and you may even find yourself sharing plates.
The service was SUPER friendly. They are all foodies, and at least one we recognized as a Lime Truck chaser. For the soft opening event the place was very busy, but even amongst all the bustle, everyone that was working seemed to be having a great time. We were very impressed and enjoyed the attentiveness.
The food was amazing, and we sampled a number of the small plates and cannot wait to go back again! Here are some pictures of the restaurant and the food we ate. Be warned, they change out parts of their menu every week so if you wait too long to go, there is a good chance that you will miss out on some of the incredible dishes that we tried.
There were two delicious desserts provided by Blackmarket Bakery. Farmer’s Daughter’s pudding was made from scratch butterscotch pudding, chunks of butterscotch crisp, caramel and chocolate cookies topped with fresh whip cream. The Thanksgiving whoopie pie was made with two soft, pumpkin cookies and filled with an airy, spiced cream cheese filling with cranberry chutney and bits of butterscotch crisps. Divine!